Domestic violence and child abuse often occur together. Before 2001 there were many agencies that addressed each of these problems as separate issues. At times, these agencies seemed to work against each other, potentially putting women and children in greater danger of harm.
To address this problem, the Jackson County Safe Family Coalition (SFC) was formed. Their mission is to provide a coordinated community response to child abuse and domestic violence that will provide safety, enhance well-being, and provide stability for children and families.
SFC is made up of the many agencies that are involved when domestic violence and child abuse occur together:
• child protection workers
• adult and family courts
• county and city prosecutors
• domestic violence shelters
• law enforcement
• probation and parole
• social workers
• mental health services providers
SFC has challenged all of the participating agencies to look at our systems and change operations with the SFC mission as a guide. The best way to keep children safe is to keep the non-offending parent safe. This is accomplished by:
• Holding the perpetrator accountable for their actions.
• Providing meaningful help, support, and services for families who are experiencing child abuse and domestic violence.
• Providing legal interventions and services that stop violence and abuse.
SFC has committed to educate agencies and their staffs about resources that are available when they recognize cases of domestic violence with child abuse. SFC also seeks to engage the community by creating awareness about the need to provide a comprehensive array of services that will respond to the unique strengths and concerns of families.
Hope House has been a proud partner of this coalition and will continue coming to the table to keep children and the non-offending parent safe. We are very grateful that so many partners have joined us to make a difference in our communities.
For more information about the Safe Family Coalition, please visit their website http://www.jcsafefamily.org/.